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Morrisons blames market for 5.6% Christmas drop

Morrisons suffered a difficult Christmas period. Credit: PA

Supermarket Morrisons posted a sharp fall in like-for-like sales over Christmas, blaming the "disappointing" performance on difficult market conditions, heavy discounting by rivals and the lack of a full online offer.

The UK's fourth largest supermarket chain said its like-for-like sales excluding fuel dropped 5.6% in the six weeks to January 5th.

Including fuel, the drop was 7.1%.

It said it now expected its full-year underlying profit performance to be towards the bottom of the range of current market expectations, which stand at £783m to £853m.

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Ocado will 'continue to source products' for Waitrose

Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner said the agreement with Morrisons would have no impact on its existing arrangements.

We will continue to source products under our long-term agreement with Waitrose, and our customers will continue to benefit from the existing high levels of service, wide range of products and competitive prices that they currently enjoy.

Ocado move a 'significant strategic step for Morrisons'

The launch will see the retailer use Ocado's recently opened distribution centre in Warwickshire for deliveries through a Morrisons-liveried fleet.

The 25-year deal involves Morrisons paying up to £170 million to Ocado to acquire the site and equipment.

This agreement is a significant strategic step for Morrisons.

From a standing start, Morrisons will be competing in the fast-growing online channel by the end of this year with a really compelling proposition.

The customer gets our affordable fresh food delivered by Ocado's state-of-the-art distribution system.

– Morrisons chief executive Dalton Philips

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Morrisons to start online deliveries with Ocado

Morrisons is to start its online groceries business by the end of this year. Credit: PA Wire

Supermarket Morrisons is to start its online groceries business by the end of this year after unveiling a tie-up with delivery firm Ocado.

Ocado is closely linked with Waitrose, exclusively delivering the supermarket's products - as well as its own and those of branded ranges - to its customers and the move is likely to spark a backlash.

Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, recently told The Sunday Telegraph its lawyers would seek to examine any tie-up between the other two companies.

Morrisons' online 'will benefit from last mover advantages'

Dalton Philips, Morrisons CEO has said that the supermarket's late entry to the online market will prove to be an advantage.

Mr Philips told ITV News, "There are often 'last mover' advantages because you can learn where others have made mistakes.

"It's a market that's growing really quickly, we've been doing it for about two years in a smaller way...so we've been learning a lot in the last 24 months - now it's time to accelerate."

Morrisons are currently in talks with Ocado over possible online offerings.

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